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CSN Preps Boys Basketball Power Rankings: Week 2


CSN Preps Boys Basketball Power Rankings: Week 2

After the Chicago Elite Classic, we've now seen each team in the @CSNPreps Power Rankings play at least one game this season and have a better sense of things going forward.

While the top five remain the same, there are some changes towards the bottom as three new teams enter the rankings. Morgan Park and Simeon remain No. 1 and No. 2 and they'll play against each other in a Red-South thriller this week.

1. Morgan Park (2-0) (1) - Charlie Moore had 55 points in the season-opening win over Bowen and Jamal Burton was impressive in the win over No. 9 Evanston. 

2. Simeon (1-0) (2) - No. 2 Simeon topped No. 11 Whitney Young to end the Chicago Elite Classic as Zach Norvell had 19 points and eight rebounds. Big game against No. 1 Morgan Park on Thursday.

3. Kenwood (1-0) (3) - Kenwood had the week off after the Lake Forest Academy game was cancelled and they are playing in Detroit on Monday. The game at No. 25 Hyde Park on Thursday will be a key Red-Central game.

4. Fenwick (6-0) (4) - Fenwick had a good win at the Chicago Elite Classic over Oak Park-River Forest as junior Jacob Keller looked great in an 18-point, 10-rebound effort.

5. Bogan (3-0) (5) - The Bengals were off this week, but they have a busy week with a game in Detroit on Monday, Julian at home and then a road game at undefeated No. 22 Vocational on Thursday.

6. Curie (2-0) (7) - Picking up a win against one of the top players in the country, Thon Maker, and Orangeville Prep is huge for Curie as Devin Gage had 26 points and the game-winning basket.

7. St. Joseph (5-0) (9) - Nice win for St. Joseph over No. 20 De La Salle as they remain unbeaten on the season. Nick Rakocevic had 18 points and 17 rebounds and looked like a Player of the Year candidate.

8. Riverside-Brookfield (5-1) (6) - Riverside-Brookfield lost to a nationally-ranked Gonzaga (D.C.) team at the Chicago Elite Classic with Mark Smith battling a sprained ankle and without Skylar Nash and Henry Trelenberg. 

9. Evanston (4-1) (8) - The Wildkits aren't quite ready to be among the area's elite after their performance against Morgan Park, but they're still one of the area's more talented teams.

10. Joliet West (6-0) (12) - Joliet West has moved to 6-0 as Trevian Bell had 15 points, eight rebounds and Jason Bingham scored 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter in a win over Bolingbrook.

11. Whitney Young (0-1) (10) - The Dolphins dropped a tough one to No. 2 Simeon in the Chicago Elite Classic but sophomore point guard Xavier Castenada leads a team that has some upside going forward.

12. Benet (5-0) (16) - Benet doesn't have any star players but they get it done with hard work, good shooting and a balanced effort. York will be an interesting test this week.

13. Notre Dame (5-1) (17) - Two quality wins for the Dons this week as they beat Hinsdale Central and Lincoln Park. Senior forward Ammar Becar came up with a huge 33 points in the win over the Lions.

14. Glenbard West (6-0) (18) - The Hilltoppers remain undefeated as Alex Passi banked in a half-court shot to beat Naperville Central. Senior wing Justin Pierce continues to put up big numbers.

15. Hinsdale South (4-1) (22) - Nice effort from senior big man Barret Benson as the Northwestern commit had 17 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in a win over Morton.

16. Downers South (4-1) (23) - Downers South winning on the road at Proviso East was a quality win as junior forward T.J. Clifford had 22 points and eight rebounds. 

17. Marian Catholic (4-2) (15) - Marian Catholic lost to a tough Mater Dei squad and they have to figure out how their talent will come together. Getting production from junior T.J. Smith is important. 

18. Farragut (6-1) (24) - The Admirals picked up two wins during the week and have their sights set on Red-West rival No. 11 Whitney Young this week.

19. De La Salle (4-1) (19) - De La Salle dropped a road game at No. 7 St. Joseph but senior George Wilburn proved that he was for real by going for 31 points in the loss.

20. Deerfield (5-0) (25) - Good win for Deerfield over a talented Waukegan team and they'll face Glenbrook North and Maine East this week. 

21. Oswego (5-1) (13) - Oswego dropped one to a tough Quincy team but they're still balanced and have a lot of experience. Oswego plays Plainfield Central on Friday.

22. Vocational (6-0) (NR) - Vocational was able to beat No. 25 Hyde Park to improve to 6-0 and they get to face a top Red-South rival in No. 5 Bogan later this week. 

23. Maine South (5-0) (NR) - Playing great ball to start the season is Maine South, who are balanced and have plenty of floor spacing and patience. Milos Ljiljak's buzzer-beater against Loyola was huge.

24. Joliet Central (4-1) (NR) - Great start to the season for Joliet basketball as the Steelmen knocked off previously-ranked Homewood-Flossmoor to enter the Power Rankings.

25. Hyde Park (5-1) (20) - Hyde Park lost to Vocational last week but have a huge Red-Central contest this week as they host No. 3 Kenwood on Thursday. 

Previously ranked: Bradley-Bourbonnais (3-1) (11), Homewood-Flossmoor (3-2) (14), Uplift (5-1) (21)

36 Days to Kickoff: Glenbard North

36 Days to Kickoff: Glenbard North preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Glenbard North

Head coach: Ryan Wilkens

Assistant coaches: Rich Smelko, John Cassidy, Bruce Donash, John Pullia, Tom Gudella, Kudret Kamabari and Matt Ng

How they fared in 2017: 5-5 (4-4 DuPage Valley Conference). Glenbard North made the Class 7A state playoff field and lost to Batavia in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Neuqua Valley

Aug. 31 vs Warren Township

Sept. 7 @ St. Charles East

Sept. 14 vs Batavia

Sept. 21 @ Wheaton North

Sept. 28 @ Lake Park

Oct. 5 vs St. Charles North

Oct. 12 vs Wheaton Warrenville South

Oct. 19 @ Geneva

[MORE: 50 Days to Kickoff - Neuqua Valley]

Biggest storyline: The Panthers have a new conference home. Can the Panthers reload and fare well in the DuKane Conference?

Names to watch this season: LB Michael Wellman and FB Jake Wilson

Biggest holes to fill: The Panthers will need several players to step up on offense with just one returning starter back from a season ago-- senior FB Jake Wilson.

EDGY's Early Take: Glenbard North says farewell to the DuPage Valley conference and says hello to all things DuKane. The Panthers will undoubtedly be a younger team in 2018. While some of the star power has graduated, head coach Ryan Wilkins will once again focus on establishing a strong, fast and physical running game. Getting off to a good start against a loaded schedule will be a big key for Glenbard North this season. 

Rolling Meadows' Max Christie on the verge of national breakout


Rolling Meadows' Max Christie on the verge of national breakout

EMERSON, Ga. -- Rolling Meadows rising sophomore guard Max Christie is having a strong spring and summer on the grassroots circuit as he's emerged as one of the area's newest breakout stars.
At 6-foot-5 with an ability to play both on and off the ball, Christie is a versatile perimeter player who can be either a big point guard or a smooth wing. Even though he's only finished one year of high school, Christie already has earned some major college scholarship offers as Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Loyola, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin have all been involved. Playing up an age group with the Illinois Wolves U16 team, Christie is starting to generate a lot of buzz among college coaches and national scouts.
"I think I've played well. I've been growing. I have a huge target on my back. So I'm just confident and humble and playing my game," Christie said. "College coaches are coming in everywhere, but I'm just playing my game and not worrying about them. I'm just having fun."
Christie is coming off of a positive freshman season at Rolling Meadows in which he had some big games as a freshman while playing on varsity. Although Christie is still very skinny and trying to add strength, he has started to adjust to opponents trying to play physical against him. As he starts to get older, Christie is adjusting to how certain opponents will handle him.
"On the court, it's physical. So I have to get used to that. I have encouraging teammates so that's good for me. But everybody is double-teaming me and face-guarding me, so I just have to use screens and everything," Christie said.
"I've been in the weight room working. The strength is there. I'm always using it against other teams. I just have to get used to it. I feel like [the physicality] is not as much of a factor as I get stronger."
Christie will be one of the marked men in the area this season as he'll draw a lot of attention at Rolling Meadows. He has the potential to be an all-area player. With multiple high-major scholarship offers and national recruiting profiles, Christie is just trying to maintain his focus on staying a versatile player. Playing both on and off the ball, Christie is trying to improve the consistency on his perimeter jumper while also trying to grow his basketball IQ.
"Both of them are fine. Off the ball, I like to set screens and get teammates open. I like to get open. On the ball, I like to create, passes, all that stuff," Christie said. "So I'm just trying to make plays, get my teammates open, set better screens."
"Leadership is something I need to work on, so it's something I need to accept for this season. So, since I've built this reputation, I'm trying to be more of a leader and encourage. Just being a better teammate."
Christie averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and 2.9 assists per game as a freshman at Rolling Meadows, as he has the ability to put up monster numbers as a sophomore. Underclass players don't typically compete for awards in the Chicagoland area, but Christie is a potentially special talent at the high school level as he attempts to ascend into a national-level recruit.